We met Genevieve Davis at our first ever "no so event" dubbed Babes in Borrego in 2013. Since then, Genevieve has been to every single Babes Ride Out event. She is an amazing photographer (you may have seen her work all over vans.com, our zine 1 & 2, in the Poler gallery in Laguna) and one of the nicest girls you will ever meet. Get to know more about her, her experience at the first ever Babes in Borrego, and what the vibe was like at the first Babes Ride Out East Coast last year.
Tell us about your typical day at work:
The majority of my day-to-day is spent shooting new product for the Vans.com web banners & social media channels, sometimes in our in-house studio & sometimes in different outdoor environments. When I’m not shooting product, I’m photographing artist portraits/profiles, lifestyle, BTS, corporate headshots, events...a little bit of everything. The variety definitely keeps it interesting.
Tell us about the history of the company or culture:
Vans was born in Southern California in 1966 as the Van Doren Rubber Company. The company’s roots and history lie heavily in SoCal skateboarding culture. In the 50 years since its inception Vans has expanded its platform to all forms of creativity and expression, including but not limited to action sports, art, fashion, and music. However you choose to express yourself creatively, we are here for it. I grew up playing in the waves of Laguna Beach & bombing hills on skateboards when I was a kid. I was a roller derby athlete as an adult. I’ve always been heavily into music & I’ve always been an artist so all of these pillars Vans supports are genuinely important to me & are something I’m proud to stand by both in & out of the office.
Inside headquarters there is an emphasis on kindness, family, giving back to the community & what we call “the Van-Doren Spirit.” Tomorrow we are taking a day off work to do a beach cleanup. In a few weeks one of my coworkers organized a day for the creative department to build skateboards for local underprivileged kids. I once saw Steve Van Doren literally give the shoes off his feet to a stranger who complimented his shoes and walk out of an event barefoot. And if that isn’t enough, Vans builds skateparks and venues in communities across the nation, and we support rad events I feel are super important-like Babes Ride Out. It’s a company culture I’m really proud to be a part of.
Any NEW Vans or Vans Girl projects in the works?
Honestly I’m probably the wrong person to ask, since I am kind of the last person to find out about stuff coming down the pipeline. I will say there’s a pretty rad women’s motorcycle-inspired pack that will be out in Fall 2017 I’m about to go shoot. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the hype behind BRO helped inspire that one!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into motorcycles:
As stated earlier I was fortunate enough to grow up in Laguna Beach, CA. I love dogs (really all critters), I have a passion for the outdoors, music, & photography which I believe is a direct response to growing up in the time and town that I did.
I have been on wheels for as long as I can remember, first on rollerblades when I was little, skateboarding later in my youth, in college I played roller derby & motorcycles just seemed like the next natural progression to going fast on wheels.
When I was 19 I dated a guy with a vintage triumph and immediately fell in love with the machine. The relationship didn’t last very long but my lusting after his motorcycle did. At no point did I have any desire to ride on the back, I wanted my own immediately. I got my license when I was 20, saved for 3 years & bought a 1974 honda CB360 that didn’t run for $900. That same ex-boyfriend with the Triumph ended up becoming one of my best friends & helped me bring the Honda back to life years later. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Did I mention I love nature? The best part of riding for me is exploring-and truly becoming-different landscapes. I abhor riding in the city-it stresses me out, but being on a two-lane highway in the mountains of Colorado or the Valleys of Utah or the coastal twisties of Big Sur, breathing and feeling and leaning into the environment and the landscape-that’s paradise.
You came to the first ever Babes Ride Out ever in 2013. How was that experience for you and what is your best memory?
Super rad. I feel like I was a part of history. I sprained my wrist the week before & my Honda was acting up, I almost didn’t go but my friend T-Bone talked me into it. I’m so glad she did. My other friend Machine had been riding for a long time, way longer than I, and seeing her in awe of that many women in one place, I knew this was unlike anything else. You guys had screen printed like, 30 shirts I think, & I almost didn’t buy one. Machine goes “buy a shirt. Trust me. This is gonna be huge.” I’m so glad she talked me into that one because I treasure that shirt now.
It was such an inspiring experience, I wrote a poem that was later turned into a song called “Anza Borrego” when I was coming home from that trip. It’s still my favorite thing I’ve ever written. I knew two women who rode prior to Babes in Borrego, but that initial trip put me hip to so many women who have to this day become my best riding friends. After BRO Borrego a fraction of us who had met there did this 10 day trip up to Washington & back that summer. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been in at BIB.
BRO JT has grown into this huge, awesome, well-oiled event, but the first one was so special because it was just a rugged, punk rock, DIY camp out. Literally like Ashmore & Anya posted a flier on instagram, 50 of us caught wind of it through word of mouth, nobody fucking knew each other & we all cruised down to camp in the dirt. It was rowdy. I remember after we got to the campsite all the girls were riding their street bikes on this wide, dried up lakebed just throttling it back & forth celebrating & having fun. I rode on the back of my friend Mel’s Harley that weekend since I couldn’t ride due to my wrist. It was a damn good time.
You came to our first ever BABES EC. Tell us about the experience:
Literally magic. I geek out hard on nature and landscapes, and being on the east coast is such a different environment than the west coast. The woods are just gorgeous, & there are lakes and waterfalls to ride by and to. We don’t have much architecture or history on the west coast, but on the east coast they have these buildings and barns from the 1800s that are so beautiful. Brittany Wood & I rode from Boston to Narrowsburg & going through all these small colonial towns & woods & cobblestone was just a dream. I think Virginia Hall came up with a lot of the routes from Narrowsburg right? Man she did an amazing job, some of those rides felt like riding through a fairytale.
What did you like the most?
Definitely the Big Indian Rivers route. Holy S*** so beautiful.
Any words of wisdom to ladies who may be on the fence about attending Babes Ride Out EC2?
If you have the ability to go-GO! Seriously do not miss out. If BRO Joshua Tree is like Coachella, BRO EC is like Woodstock. That’s a shitty metaphor bc BRO JT is way cooler than Coachella, but the point I’m trying to make is BRO EC is mellow, it’s beautiful, the vibe is so chill & relaxed, it’s easy to make friends & there is a nice diversity between bikes and bikers. Don’t sleep on this one because you will have So. Much. Fun.